“Don’t you think you should get a little fresh air, and maybe some exercise?” – Marge Simpson
“Yeah, but what are you gonna do?” – Bart Simpson
Posts Tagged ‘When Flanders Failed
“Like one out of every nine Americans, I’m left handed. And, let me tell you, it ain’t all peaches and cream. Your writing gets smeared, Lord help you if you want to drive a standard transmission.” – Ned Flanders
I have two good things to say about “Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend”. First, we dodged the “storytelling episode” bullet. When they were backstage at the beginning talking about why they didn’t do Lenny’s story, I thought for sure we were in for four short, equally dull segments, but it turned out that they went with the less annoying single, long dull story. Second, this exchange from the Left Gifted Bi-Dexterous and Transhanded community scene was one of the best things they’ve done all season:
Flanders: We’re trying to decide on the theme for our Left Is Right parade.
Left Handed Woman: Our Scissors, Ourselves!
Left Handed Man: How ’bout Death to Righties.
Left Handed Woman: We have to live among them.
Left Handed Man: To live among them is to die! Are you even left handed?
They over explained it and kept the scene going a bit too long, but that argument is a genuinely excellent parody. Plus, “Fete Accompli” and “A Day to Pay Full Price” were well above average sign humor. I don’t say this often, but, well done, Zombie Simpsons.
Unfortunately, those brief moments were surrounded on all sides by the usual array of aggravating and careless problems. Need a character in a scene? Have them walk right up and announce their presence (there’s Homer and Bart through the window, there’s Helen, Luann and Bernice in the wedding shop, there’s Bart and the window again). Want to cram in a personal conversation or three? Have characters argue and reconcile in public with a total disregard for where they’re supposed to be (Ned and Edna at the party, Homer and Marge in their kitchen, Ned and Edna again in front of the school). Feel like explaining your jokes even as you make them? Have each punchline carefully pre-chewed for ease of audience digestion (Flanders with the chip clips, the recitation of what goes on at the liberal college, pretty much everything Homer says about playing Jesus). And, let’s not forget that the main story involved a lot of weird, out of character behavior and bizarre plot twists.
Zombie Simpsons has a habit of ignoring the history and characteristics of people, but asking us to believe that Ned Flanders (widower) and Edna Krabappel (divorcee) are unaware that marriages aren’t perfect was bad even for them. Flanders and Krabappel having problems with their relationship? Fine. Flanders and Krabappel not seeing eye to eye on Rod and Todd? No problem. Flanders being unaware that couples argue? Wha? And how on Earth did Krabappel pull the kids out of a school without Flanders knowing about it? All to often these characters and their actions are barely recognizable as human.
Anyway, the numbers are in and they are the worst ever. Last night’s meandering pastiche of marital woe and wonder was ceremoniously endured by just four million people. (TV by the Numbers has it exactly at a flat 4.00 million.) That is far and away the lowest number of all time, displacing “The Daughter Also Rises” from earlier this season in the coveted #1 spot. Eight of the ten least watched episodes are now from Season 23 (numbers are millions of viewers):
#1 23-21 4.00 Ned ‘N Edna’s Blend
#2 23-13 4.33 The Daughter Also Rises
#3 23-20 4.75 The Spy Who Learned Me
#4 23-18 4.86 Beware My Cheating Bart
#5 23-16 4.96 How I Wet Your Mother
#6 23-19 5.00 A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again
#6 22-18 5.00 The Great Simpsina
#8 23-10 5.11 Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson
#8 21-11 5.11 Million Dollar Maybe
#10 23-12 5.12 Moe Goes from Rags to Riches
Presumably Lady Gaga will give them a boost next week, but it would take a viewership of 26 million just to haul Season 23’s average viewership (currently 6.20 million) up to the level of Season 22, and that ain’t gonna happen.
Image shamelessly yoinked from here.
“So, Bart, what did you learn in karate school today?” – Marge Simpson
“Yeah, come on, boy, this better be worth my ten bucks!” – Homer Simpson
A port of the old Simpsons arcade game came out for Xbox and PS3 this week and there were a metric ton of reviews, many of which are linked below. I haven’t played it, but most of the reviews I saw said that the nostalgia factor couldn’t overcome the inherent button mashing repetitiveness of a game where the only commands are jump and attack.
A couple of the reviews outright say that the game isn’t worth the $10 they’re charging for it. Whether or not that’s true for you will depend on how much you want the game and how much that $10 is worth to you. But it got me to wondering, what would $10 in today’s money have been worth in 1991 when the original game was released? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, $10 in 2011 money is worth about $6.05 in 1991 dollars, or about twenty four quarters. In other words, if you can get through the game on the equivalent of twenty-four quarters, then you’d have been better off in an arcade in 1991. If, on the other hand, you require more lives than twenty-four quarters would’ve gotten you, then your console in 2012 comes out ahead.
In addition to lots of old game reviews, the internet was all aflutter because some schmuck in Iran decided to ban Simpsons dolls. This is news in the same way that Groening’s Hollywood star is news, my initial reactions was “Huh. I thought that already happened.” There was also a lot of 500th episode crap, but hardly any of it worth linking (with one glorious exception). In addition to all that, we’ve got poor editing at The Hollywood Reporter, an enjoyably gruesome Zombie Bart, self described lunatic conspiracy theorists, and the usual smattering of fan made stuff, usage and other ephemera.
[Site note: After some screwing around this week, I’ve made it so our Facebook page is now only being “mostly neglected” instead of “completely neglected” like it’s been up to this point. Basically, I changed the way we push Quotes of the Day to Twitter so that they also get pushed to Facebook without me having to do any extra work. (That last part is important.) So if you want to see the quotes directly on your Facebook page, you can now do that. There was a slight Twitter hiccup this morning, but I think I’ve got everything working. If you notice anything strange, please e-mail me.]
‘The Simpsons’ Poll: What is the ultimate episode of all time? – A few weeks ago, Digital Spy in the UK asked its readers for their opinion on the best episodes of The Simpsons. This week they’re back with a poll and it is Smooth Charlie’s Link of the Week so hard it should be Link of the Month:
Compiled with the help of your views, our TV team’s opinions and previous ‘best episode’ lists, we’ve cut down the 498 installments that have aired to a manageable cream of the crop shortlist.
The list has been whittled down to 37 primecuts of Simpsons gold and we want your verdict on what is the finest.
Gaze at the ballot below:
That’s thirty-seven episodes, thirty-six of which are from Season 9 or earlier. The only episode on the list from after 1998 that is “The Computer Wore Menace Shoes” (which they misspelled as “Shows”), which was broadcast in 2000 in Season 12. According to Digital Spy’s readers and writers, there hasn’t been an episode even worthy of consideration on a top ten list in twelve years! You suck, Zombie Simpsons. Massive, massive thanks to longtime reader Kokairu for the link.
500-Episode Simpsons Marathon of the Day – TDW Geeks – Going by the most recent comments on the Facebook page, it sounds like they’re dropping like flies. (Here’s a picture of what it looked like at the beginning.) If it started when they said it did (roughly 5pm Pacific on Wednesday), they should be midway through Season 6 right now. If there’s anyone left, they’ll hit Season 9 tomorrow afternoon and be well into Zombie Simpsons by late Sunday. Jebus help them.
Video: Jingle Punk Hipster Orchestra TV Theme Melody – Ahh, string instruments (the Simpsons part starts at 2:20):
God bless Creative Commons licenses.
In comments, he writes:
It came together at the last moment – yesterday (Thursday) I was distributing flyers for the Dead of Winter show at a local comic book shop that had a pile of old Bart toys. It almost jumped into my arms. Brought it home, and rushed to chopped off the nose, sliced my thumb, removed the lips, and added the teeth from an old plastic skull. It all came together in an hour or two. Added a 10"x10" wooden base, textured and painted to look like sidewalk and screwed him to the base. Will post full pics after the show closes on March 1.
I love anything that involves the words “rushed to to chopped off the nose”. Can’t wait for the full pictures. Thanks to Freakoutville for the tip.
Review The Simpsons Arcade Game – Pretty much what it says. I especially like this:
Before starting the game you can choose one of four modes. Free Play has unlimited continues, Survival grants only one life and no continues, Quarters gives each player 10 continues and Team Quarters has players share 40 continues.
I really could’ve used that when I was a kid and quarters were scarce. They recommend knowing what you’re getting before you plunk down the $10 though.
The Simpsons Arcade Game – A rather harsher review:
The Simpsons Arcade Game, much like Ninja Turtles or X-Men, has not exactly aged well. Let’s face it, it’s a relic. And not one of those good, Sean Connery type ones.
Heh. I like this review.
The Simpsons Arcade: Fireworks Candy & Puppy Dogs Store, or Box Factory? – Yet another review saying the game ain’t worth it.
Go Round – The Simpsions Arcade Game – A YouTube video of four guys playing the four player co-op on the XBox port of the arcade game. It’s mildly interesting, but I got bored after a few minutes because even watching it gets repetitive pretty fast.
Simpsons Arcade Demo Impressions: Check your Nostalgia at the Door (or not) – Another review that says that the nostalgia can’t override the underlying crappiness of the game.
Month of Codes (Day Seven) – Impressively obscure and pointless cheats for Bart vs. the Space Mutants.
Appointment Viewing: February 6-February 13 – Lenny brings the pre-snark for Sunday’s new Zombie Simpsons:
On Valentine’s Day, Lisa and an intellectual young man named Nick share a fairy-tale romance and make a secret getaway. Meanwhile, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage (“Mythbusters”) inspire Bart and Milhouse to bust Springfield Elementary School myths. Unsurprisingly, Nick is going to be played by Michael Cera.
Homer Simpson – One of Homer’s worst parenting moments courtesy of Cartoon Quotes.
The Sound Of One Hand Clapping – The value of meditating and “Dead Putting Society”.
Iran bans Bart Simpson and Homer Simpson – This was everywhere this week, but I don’t see quite what all the fuss is about.
Bizarro World – Some of those Simpsons-fashion drawings next to the people that inspired them.
Bart Simpson: The New Symbol of High Fashion – Herein I have to link to The Hollywood Reporter for a second time this week, which is unfortunate because their website is so hideously overrun with links, ads, and general marketing stupidity that it’s just this side of unusable. What is fortunate are these quotes from a guy named Jeremy Scott, whom they describe as an “Avant garde designer”. I have no idea who he is or whether or not he’s a good designer, but he speaks like he just fell out of a Zoolander sequel:
THR: So this idea came from you, and not Fox, the network that plays the show?
Scott: Oh, I went knockin’ on the door at Fox. I chased them down like a dog in heat. I fell madly in love with Bart. And I’m not even the diehard every-episode fan. It’s just such a part of pop culture. Bart is a nineties teen icon.
THR: Were the execs at Fox surprised at this request?
Scott: I wasn’t really sure how to go about this. I got someone on the phone and took it from there. And it was kismet, synergy, this was supposed to happen. They totally got it: the way I am, who I am.
Reading that I can’t help but think of this scene from the “Unauthorized Cinnamon” episode of Deadwood. But wait, there’s more:
THR: What’s the general direction of your fall 2012 collection?
Scott: I can tell you it was inspired by the computer, and the way information is disseminated today. The way ideas are profillierating on the internet. How we use icons to show our emotions. The way the way everything is circling around. I’m into short as a skirt length, but its a new kind of "short long."
I had no idea people actually talked like that, though it’s hardly his fault that they didn’t run spellcheck on “proliferating”. But here’s the capper:
THR: Have you met Matt Groening?
Scott: I’ve not met Matt yet – but I’m really looking forward to meeting him. A Fox contingency is coming to see the show, they’re flying in from LA. But Matt will be busy receiving his star on the Walk of Fame.
I don’t know what’s funnier, that he used the word “contingency” when he meant “contingent”, an easy enough mistake to make when speaking off the cuff, or that no one at The Hollywood Reporter fixed it for him.
Cynics should learn how to stuff their face with cupcakes and reclaim V-Day – Excellent usage:
"Romance is dead – it was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece," said Lindsay Cahill quoting Lisa Simpson while waiting for the next band to start. Cahill’s overt ability to express something truly troubling was captured by the quotation, adding a layer of hopelessness into the air.
Perfectly quoted. Well done, Lindsay Cahill.
The Connection between Lisa Simpson and the Whore of Babylon – Any time you see the words “UFOs”, “Conspiracy Theorists”, and “Lunatic Fringe” in the banner of a website, you know it’s gonna be good:
Ishtar (aka WHORE OF BABYLON) was the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, war, love, and sex.
The statue of Liberty is basically a monument in dedication to Ishtar. Notice the 7 spikes on her head. It is no coincidence that America is the Great Babylon of our Times.
Interestingly enough, one of the most beloved cartoon characters of the Simpsons, is Lisa Simpson.
She is nothing more than a representation of Ishtar. Notice her spiked head. She also wears the colour red all the time. Red is the colour for PROSTITUTION.
Ishtar was above all associated with sexuality: her cult involved SAC-RED prostitution.
Ironic isn’t it?
And I thought the London Olympics logo was bad. The replies, including polytheistic theology, involve just as much harmless crazy.
This Music Smells Funny – Dumb, but I chuckled.
anime: lisa simpson by ~teamstar47 on deviantART – Neat fan made Lisa drawing. It looks like just pen and markers, but it’s shaded and colored really well.
One down – Excellent therapeutic usage:
I had the simpsons on in the backgroud this morning, one of the old episodes. I wasn’t really listening, but I caught this part:
“Lisa, I apologize to you, I was wrong, I take it
all back. Always be yourself. If you want to be sad, honey, be sad.
We’ll ride it out with you. And when you get finished feeling sad, we’ll
still be there. From now on, let me do the smiling for both of us.” - Marge, The Simpsons
I think I’m now finished feeling sad. Thank you all for riding that out with me, and your support.
Review: The Simpsons Arcade takes us back to the bowling alley – And finally, an arcade game review that agrees with us:
1991 was a good year for The Simpsons. Some all-time classic episodes aired, the series won a couple of Emmy awards, Bart Simpson t-shirts were still in fashion, and the family starred in an A-list arcade game. It was a better year than 2011, where the series closed in on its 500th episode while a few fans kept up the old argument over when the exact shark-jumping moment happened.
“Hey Flanders, when are your busy hours?” – Homer Simpson
“Oh, I expect things to start picking up soon. I think word of mouth is starting to spread.” – Ned Flanders
“Hey, I hear you validate parking tickets without purchase.” – Guy
“Marge, TV gives so much and asks so little. It’s a boy’s best friend.” – Homer Simpson
“That’s the problem. Even as we speak, millions of children are staring at the TV instead of getting some much needed exercise. Those children’s parents should be ashamed of themselves.” – Marge Simpson
Image used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user grahamc99.
“Akira, my good man, when do we break blocks of ice with our heads?” – Bart Simpson
“First you must fill your head with wisdom, then you can hit ice with it.” – Akira
I saw this on Boing Boing just now:
I’d never heard of “Hai Karate” as an aftershave, but the words instantly pinged the roughly 2/3 of my brain devoted to storing Simpsons quotes. In Season 3’s “When Flanders Failed”, Akira’s closing line in his commercial is, “High karate, at low, low prices.” A search of the episode pages on both SNPP and Wikipedia turned up nothing. Despite a long “Pop Culture References” section, Wikipedia’s Hai Karate article does not mention Simpsons. The question is: Was that an intentional reference?
I’m inclined to say that it was. The rather extensive list of pop culture appearances on Wikipedia means that Hai Karate was easily in/famous enough to merit a reference. And Akira’s phrasing there has always sounded a little strange. After all, what is “High Karate”? (Other than a brilliant idea for a post-Prop 19 martial arts school in California.) I get the juxtaposition with “low, low prices”, but it makes much more sense as that plus a cultural reference than it does as just a contrast with the prices.
Add those things up and it doesn’t feel like a coincidence to me. I could be wrong, of course, and I’m much too cowardly to assume that I found something that eluded both SNPP and Wikipedia all these years, so I submit this to the greater wisdom of the readership. Sly reference, or coincidence?
Note: Sure it’s fun to point and laugh at ye olde commercials like this one, but let’s not forget that in our time the Axe people have made untold millions with ads so similarly idiotic to this one that they might owe somebody a royalty check. There, but for the grace of Hai Karate, go us all.
“What’s the opposite of that shameful joy thing of yours?” – Homer Simpson
“Sour grapes.” – Lisa Simpson
“Boy, those Germans have a word for everything.” – Homer Simpson
For whatever combination of reasons about half the posts on Twitter with the #simpsons tag are in German. It peaks early in the afternoon here in the States, which must be when the reruns are on in Germany because right about then, every day, there’s an explosion of German language tweets with the #simpsons tag. Since I don’t know German I usually just gloss over these, but today one caught my eye and led me to the Twitter feed of “cinderblock42” where this rather amusing series took place (remember, it’s a Twitter page so read up from the bottom):
Season 12 comes out on DVD next week. It already tastes like ash in my mouth. Before that unpleasantness though we’ve got lots of excellent usage, the guy who does Homer’s French voice in Canada, a right winger who thinks Burns looks like Nancy Pelosi and some love for International Left Handed Day.
Woo-hoo! Québécois Homer Simpson is Groening’s favourite – This is a neat article about the guy who does Homer’s voice in Quebec. Interesting tidbit, he’s also the French Canadian voices of Robert de Niro, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, and Nick Nolte.
The Bigs 2 Review – It’s a review of a baseball video game that’s being released in Britain. It quotes “Duffless” about how boring baseball can be when you’re sober. The quote’s off in a few places but it’s pretty close. Good usage.
Dispatches from the Front Porch – This post concludes with this:
One of my favorite Simpson’s lines is from an old episode where Bart is trying to woo a girl. At one point he’s blathering on clumsily as young boys often do in front of girls. This girl, who is a bit snotty, interrupts him dismissively saying, “Bart, do you ever think anything you don’t say?”
This line pops up for me now and then when I think about social media and especially status updates. Do we ever think things we don’t say (or post)? Should we? The sentiment was underscored in this SundayStyles article about no tweet no blog VIP parties.
The quote is slightly off (Jessica doesn’t address him as “Bart” there) but let me assure you that here at the Dead Homer Society, even with our stupid new Twitter feed, there is plenty we don’t say. Good usage.
Multi-headed fish are the real life ‘Blinky’ – They’ve been finding multi-headed fish in the Noosa River in Australia. Sadly I was unable to find any pictures.
Baby On Board – Not sure if it’s just a photoshop or a real sign (probably photoshop), but it’s got the Be Sharps.
Al Jean, “THE SIMPSONS” executive producer: Mr. Media Audio Interview – Short, almost completely pointless interview with Jean. No demise of Zombie Simpsons is foreseen.
Nancy Pelosi & Montgomery Burns: Separated at Birth? – Burns is a Republican, but there is a certain resemblance in that photo.
Revisiting 8 Sesame Street Rumors – They cromulently quote Homer’s incoherent Muppet description from “A Fish Called Selma”. Excellent usage.
Feel the wrath of the left hand of Burns! – Yesterday was International Left Handers Day and this is a post with a bunch of quotes from “When Flanders Failed”. All the quotes are correct, including the title, and now I’ve got an urge to watch that one.
Where lefties are always right – Speaking of south paws, here’s a real life Leftorium in San Francisco. Oddly enough, the woman who runs it is right handed.
Poetry Hour – This is basically Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”, but it comes with some love at the end for Treehouse of Horror I.
Four Days – New mother feels weird leaving her kid for the first time. Uses the power of Simpsons metaphor (Rancho Relaxo) to explain it all and properly quotes Homer in the process. Excellent usage.
Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Faulty Faculty – Krabappel comes in at #3, though they misspell her name. No mention of Skinner’s toadying momma’s boy act, the crushed spirit of Ms. Hoover or the mindless, beauty draining instruction of Mr. Largo.
The Top 5 TV Alcoholics – Barney checks in at #4 with this little piece of (mostly) awesome:
It’s essentially common knowledge that The Simpsons has gone down a slippery slope in recent years. It simply isn’t what it used to be; but at the same time, seems to be more successful than ever. One of the elements that the show lost in recent seasons was Barney being drunk! He was loud, obese, and woefully insignificant which was what made his character so endlessly enjoyable. So now, Mr. Gumble is no longer sucking quarters out of the jukebox, but instead advocating the time-honored tradition of quitting.
While I certainly agree that Barney’s decision to quit drinking (season 11, natch) sucked ass, why is this only “mostly” awesome? Because Barney’s means of support was sucking quarters out of the Love Tester machine, not the jukebox. But wait, I’m not done nitpicking.
#3 on the list is Norm Peterson from Cheers and while I’ve only ever seen about fifteen episodes of that show I’m pretty sure that this . . .
A man who needed his tab calculated by NASA
. . . is also from The Simpsons. Specifically, it’s from “22 Short Stories About Springfield”. (Google would seem to confirm that this was never on “Cheers”.) Still, an amusing list, especially #1. I never watched much of The Andy Griffith Show, but old teevee is often hilarious in its absurdities.
Daily Podcast: What’s In A Name? – Quoted in full because he gets the Simpsons right and I love his conclusion:
“People don’t want cars named after hungry old Greek broads! They want names like “Mustang” and “Cheetah” vicious animal names!” according to Homer Simpson’s automaker brother Herb. Yesterday I learned another good rule of thumb for car naming: if it doesn’t sound hilarious with the word “anal” in front of it, it’s probably not a great car name. Think about it… Commander, Wrangler and Legacy good; CTS, MKT and Optima bad. It may not be safe-for-work, but dammit it’s the truth.
I don’t know about that last one, “Anal Optima” or even “Optima Anal” doesn’t sound half bad. Excellent usage.
Forgetting Sean Marshall – Unhappy Cubs fans are always comedy gold, especially when they quote Homer correctly about their own team:
This game sucked. It sucked from the first inning, when shark-face gave up 2 triples. It sucked when the Phillies put up 8 runs in an inning. It sucked when a douchbag in the bleachers decided to show everyone why Cubs fans are assholes. It sucks that I am writing a recap about how much it sucked while the sucky game is still going on. It sucks that the Cardinals keep winning. In the words of Homer Simpson: That team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked! I’ve seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.
Excellent usage and excellent catharsis.
In the worlds of Homer Simpson, “Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” – That’s some fast acting excellent usage, got it all right in the title. (The actual post is about how vapidly stupid the American press is.)
Change That We Can ALL Believe In – Amidst a long post about what TV shows he would bring back were he president and discussions of Michael Jackson we get this:
It’s like that scene from “The Simpsons” where Homer goes to Krusty Klown Kollege* and becomes a regional Krusty. Unbeknownst to the Millhouse family, they hire him thinking that they got the real Krusty. Bart knows different, which leads to perhaps one of the greatest exchanges in Simpsons history:
Millhouse: Surprised Bart? My dad got Krusty the Klown for my birthday.
Bart: Oh. I’m sure I could do that too.
Millhouse: I don’t know Bart, my dad’s a pretty big wheel down at the cracker factory.
He also refers to that episode as criminally underrated. Not by us.
“‘Keep that handsome owner out of sight, he’s distracting the female employees.’ Smithers.” – C.M. Burns
“Got me sir.” – Mr. Smithers
“Ohh, it’s a real one. ‘No more apples in the vending machine please!!’ Well, that’s almost a sentence.” – C.M. Burns